White Balance

Digital cameras come with a setting for something called white balance. White balance is the process of removing unrealistic colour casts. This explanation comes from an excellent tutorial about white balance posted on a site called Cambridge in Colour . r

For most of us, auto white balance works just fine. 300px-ColorChecker100423

When it comes to shooting in JPG format, the white balance you shoot is the white balance you get. So if you shoot in AWB , you get AWB. If you shoot in the cloudy white balance setting, you get an image that appears somewhat warmer than in AWB. Depending on your camera there are several preset white balance settings.

Here’s an article that explains the different settings.

Under some shooting situations your camera will record more accurate colours when you’ve set the camera to a preset as compared to AWB.

When it comes to shooting raw images, white balance takes on a whole new significance.

Raw images can have their white balance changed in software after the image has been shot. This is an enormously powerful tool to create or correct the colours in your image. 17-01

Most, if not all, raw editing software will allow you to create a custom white balance setting specific for the individual image. I use this control often when I’m editing images that have strange colour casts caused by artificial lighting. Many times images shot in meetings or parties can benefit from a custom white balance setting that creates more true colours.

Here’s another article on white balance by Ken Rockwell who is a professional photographer and an online photo blogger and  who is always  posting plain-language instruction about shooting digital photography.

Remember white balance can help produce stunning images with colours that seem true to the viewer. When shooting JPGs on AWB most cameras are going to get the colours right the first time.

However, in difficult lighting situations, professional photographers use white balance presets or custom white balance when shooting raw and then create the colours they wish in advanced photo-editing software like PhotoShop or Lightroom.


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